“It is usual to speak in a playfully apologetic tone about one’s adult enjoyment of what are called ‘children’s books’. I think the convention a silly one. No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty—except, of course, books of information. The only imaginative works we ought to grow out of are those which it would have been better not to have read at all. A mature palate will probably not much care for creme de menthe: but it ought still to enjoy bread and butter and honey.
That said, I’ve recently immersed myself into two children’s lit series, The Wildwood Chronicles, and The Mysterious Benedict Society books. In taking notes for upcoming reviews of the books, I saw the following book trailers and had to share them.
Book trailers are advertisements for the books… a literary take on the movie trailer. So, I didn’t preface the book trailer with an explanation of the book—that’s what the trailer is for.
What astonished me about the Wildwood book trailer is Carson Ellis’s illustrative work. I deeply admire her illustrative work and, in this series, I marvel as much over her illustrations as I do over Colin Meloy’s writing (which leaves me breathless).
Here’s a look at the book trailer for one of my favorite reads of the past few years.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
After reading the brilliant Wildwood and its sequel, Under Wildwood (which is lovely but has a cliffhanger of an ending that made me grit my teeth), I was in search of another series I could love. Colin Meloy’s writing raised the bar ridiculously high, though.
Bookshop clerk: Are you looking for something specific, ma’am?
Me:I just finished reading the most amazing book… And you know, when you’ve finished an extraordinary book and you just fell in love with it so deeply that you think you’re spoiled for other books forever? Yet, you think, ‘I want that again.’ I want to feel that way about a book again. You hope another book can make you feel that way again…
Bookshop clerk: Oh, yes. I know exactly how that feels. What book did you read?
Bookshop clerk: (sighing) Ohhhh, that book is a work of art. That book IS art. (long pause) I don’t know what else to recommend after that…. (a long, long pause) Perhaps… Some people who read Wildwood also read The Mysterious Benedict Society. It’s not Wildwood at all. Nothing related. But the writing is very, very good. Maybe try it?
And so, I did. I’m still reading the series, but the first one just captured my attention and imagination. I immediately loved the quirkiness and the blend of joy and longing in the book. The bookshop girl was right—the writing is just captivating.
I also loved the illustrations in the first novel, which were Carson Ellis’s. The remaining books have a different illustrator, but they are also beautiful. Here’s the trailer for a book in the series.
The Series of Unfortunate Events
Unlike the descriptive beauty of the other two books on this list, Lemony Snicket‘s The Series of Unfortunate Events is dark, depressing and, if you’re the right sort of reader, hilarious.
People either love him or hate him. There’s no middle ground. Either you’re the type of person who finds dark humor to be, well, humorous, or you find the books uncomfortable and nasty. In our household, two of us find the series to be absolutely hilariously tragic (or tragically hilarious?), and two others find the whole series to truly be an unfortunate series.
The trailer, Scream and Run Away, is not illustrative like the previous trailers on this list, but musical instead. Lemony writes music, and, as you’d imagine, dark music.
I find the song to be a clever book trailer and also a scream. (It’s all right if you don’t.)
Here’s Lemony’s book trailer.
Have you seen any unusual, fun, or beautiful children’s book trailers lately? Do mention them in the comments. I’d love to check them out.